Keep your Master Chiefs, bearded Kratos, fancy flux capacitor powered hardware. E3 2016 had one of the best line ups for those of us who love big comic book experiences in gaming. Batman, Spider-Man, Walking Dead just to name a few. Here’s the games based on comic book characters we’re most excited for from E3 2016:
Spider-Man (PlayStation 4 Exclusive)
Insomniac Games, the creators of PlayStation’s beloved Ratchet & Clank series announced they’re developing a licensed game based on Marvel’s most renowned property, Spider-Man. Not a whole lot of new information was released about the game following the official major announcement during Sony’s E3 conference. An announcement made by this action packed trailer showcasing a uniquely designed Spidey pulling people out of cars and striking McFarlane like poses all over New York City. Spider-Man the game won’t be servant to any cannon or movie adaptation; it’ll be a new story and new world told by Insomniac Games. When Spider-Man debuts it’ll also be exclusive to Sony’s PlayStation 4 system which makes it a bit disappointing that it didn’t receive its own theater at the Sony booth on the show floor. A game where Marvel gives its most cherished creation to an award winning gaming studio needs to be hyped.
This deal between Sony, Marvel, and Insomniac games answers a lot of questions gamers had about whether or not being owned by Disney was hindering Marvel in the video game landscape. With the recent announcement of Disney no longer publishing games in house, it’s good to see the properties licensed out to premiere studios capable of creating blockbuster experiences these characters deserve. No release date or official name information was given but you won’t have to wait long to hear more details about the game.
Lego Dimensions (PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo)
While it’s not technically based on comic book characters. The toys to life phenomenon Lego Dimensions will see major content updates featuring DC Comics licensed properties such as The Lego Batman Movie and Teen Titans GO… oh and non-comics franchises like Ghostbusters, Harry Potter, Gremlins, Doctor Who. We got a little bit of a look at some of the new figures and features coming to the game. The new battle arena where players can create any franchise match up their hearts desire is a blend of what makes competitive Mario Kart fun while still remaining simple enough for everyone to enjoy. Playing a game of capture the flag on a Quiddich field as Ethan Hunt from Mission Impossible is exactly how it sounds, crazy. With Sonic The Hedgehog to join the mix soon, the game will only continue get crazier and more massive. New level packs, new figures, and new features. If you have kids who play this or you’re a Lego fanatic who has to collect all of this…Godspeed my friend.
Batman Arkham VR (PlayStation VR)
It was one of the longest waits on the E3 show floor and not everyone in attendance got the chance to experience Rocksteady games Batman Arkham VR. However, YOU won’t have to wait long. Coming this October exclusively for the PlayStation VR system; Batman Arkham VR takes a deep cerebral dive into the detective side of the character. Our demo at the Sony booth was short but very telling about what you can expect in October when the full game releases.
This thing is visceral to say the least. You’ll strap on the mini ice bucket on your head that is the PlayStation VR and you can utilize the PS Move controller to act as you hands in this virtual reality experience. While you’re seeing the world through the eyes of Bruce Wayne in total immersed first person view, you’re putting on the Batman suit piece by piece and taking the lift down from Wayne Manor to the Batcave. Rocksteady isn’t skimping on details; in VR players get a feel for the true massive size something like the cave would be in real life. You’ll use all the detective skills you’ve learned over the course of three Rocksteady games in a new way. We had to reconstruct a crime scene that was a battle between Nightwing and a mystery assailant.
Batman Arkham VR will launch in late October only a few weeks after the launch of PlayStation VR. It’s early and not enough demo to really get a feel for how the experience will turn out, but for fans of Batman this has the beginnings of PlayStation VR’s first blockbuster app and reason to pre-order it. Keep in mind you don’t need a PlayStation Move controller to play the game but it does contribute to the immersion factor.
Batman: The Telltale Series/ The Walking Dead Season 3 (PlayStation, Xbox, PC)
Telltale Games has crafted a unique niche for themselves. They’re one of the few exceptions of studios working on licensed properties where stories are told either on par or better than the material its based on. This year will see the studio continue their own story in the world of Kirkman’s zombie apocalypse with Telltale’s The Walking Dead Season 3. The official first trailer for the game premiered during E3 week and showed players the return of an older Clementine. Telltale is playing it close to the chest for now, in fact the game was absent from their booth presentation. Rest assured, Walking Dead Season 3 will premiere this year. We know its coming and fans of the previous games will surely jump back in as soon as it premieres. The smart play was to focus the attention on their newest DC Comics partnership game…
We saw a rather meaty sized taste of what Batman: The Telltale Series is going to be like when it premieres this August. We already went in depth with what we saw and you can read that here; so we’ll just talk about what the feels were coming out of their mini bat cave presentation. Telltale is telling a story unbound by anything in film, comics, or TV. That’s both terrifying and exciting for fans of Batman. From the outset you’ll see some of relationships in the world of this character rewritten in order to look at things from a different point of view. Perhaps the best part of that is you, as the player, will get to choose how those relationships evolve throughout the course of the game. You might get to stop villains from becoming villains or drive others to the brink of tragedy. It plays on what Telltale as a studio do best; immerse you in story. Not to mention a stellar voice cast giving some great performances; Troy Baker in the role of Bruce Wayne, Travis Willingham as Harvey Dent, Erin Yvette as Vicki Vale, Enn Reitelas Alfred Pennyworth, Murphy Guyer as Lieutenant James Gordon, Richard McGonagle as Carmine Falcone, and Laura Bailey as Selina Kyle. I’ll simply sum up my thought on Batman: The Telltale Series with this…I haven’t been this intrigued by a version of Batman since I first laid eyes on The Animated Series as a child watching Fox Kids.
Injustice 2 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
We were fortunate enough to get a behind closed doors demo of the sequel to NetherRealm Studios Injustice: Gods Among Us which you can read here. I won’t touch on too much here about the gameplay in Injustice 2. It should be mentioned though the game will have many new things, paramount among them is the customization options players will be able to utilize. As you play the game, every battle you finish rewards gamers with pieces that change every characters appearance and certain attributes. A chest plate turns Superman’s S into the Red Son symbol from Millar’s book and it grants something like increased damage when health meter runs low. The new characters have as much attention to detail as all the characters did in the first game. I still can’t get over seeing the leader of the Red Lanterns call upon The Butcher to ram through an enemy on Ysmault. The new character select animations and victory screens look like Jim Lee drawn action pin ups come to life.
Allow me to indulge you with a personal anecdote about what was special to me about the first Injustice game. I remember playing the game at DC creator’s house with a couple of people who work in comics and you could see these guys who spend about an hour a week playing video games in as much awe of Injustice as people who spend 23 out of 24 hours a day gaming. While other fighting games like Marvel vs. Capcom were great; they weren’t as far reaching as Injustice’s gameplay and story. NetherRealm have set their own bar high but look poised to vault it with Injustice 2 when the game releases in 2017.
Last year it felt as though the door only opened one way with games like Mirror’s Edge and Call of Duty getting their own comic books. While this year will see its fair share of that; it’s starting to feel like the beginnings of a balance where the characters comic book readers already know to be awesome will make a bigger splash in the world of video games. Now if we could just move away from Batman for one game and get Superman or Wonder Woman their own title.